Southern Texas Hog hunting

Zim
 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 6:40 pm

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby Zim » Sun May 03, 2009 9:56 pm

Wack, the .30-30 will be fine, but ditch the see-through scope rings. I use a Marlin .45-70 with an XS Ghost Ring for oinkers. I've also used 30-06, 7.62X54R, and 7mm08.

In reality, any deer rifle is adequate. I don't know if I'd go smaller than a 7MM-08 for oinks, but I know people that use .25-06 , .257 Roberts, and 6mm remington/.243 Win. I don't think that's ethical for pigs, but that's me. Besides, you never know when you're going to run across something for which you wish you had a wider, more massive bullet.

I'd tend to think that a 40S&W could be anemic for oinkers. I raise pot-bellied pigs, and my 1 boar of about 175# has got a really thick, cartileginious covering around his head and neck. The Russian Boar cross, which is what you're looking for, is thicker and tougher. You might think about a wheel gun in .45 Long Colt, .44 Mag, or .41 Mag. And, if you think you get buck fever, wait until you see a boar with 6 or 8" tusks and gonads the size of apples staring you down from 35 or 50 feet. I used to be a cop in Houston, and unless you've learned to fire a sidearm under stress, I'd only carry one as a back-up for oinkers. These can be very dangerous animals. A buddy of mine was hunting up near Cleveland, Texas (about 45 minutes north of Houston) on horseback. A big boar ran out of the underbrush (lots of thick timber and undergrowth in our part of the state) and eviscerated his horse. Did you get that? A hog KILLED his 1000 pound horse.

And no, you absolutely, positively do not need a license to hunt feral hogs in our state. Go here to see the regulation, such as it is, on feral hogs. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/annual/general/hunt_licenses/

Go here to register with Texas Parks and Wildlife to find landowners that might meet your desires. https://www2.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/planning/hunt_lease/

As far as shotgun only areas, I'm not aware of any. You just cannot imagine how rural (and HUGE) this state is. Yeah, 20 million people here, but a quarter of the state lives within about 60 miles of downtown Houston. And once you get west of I-35, "sparsely populated" would be understatement. As recently as about 15 years ago, there was a small ranch within the city of Houston - probably about 1000 acres, give or take. East to west (Orange, Texas to El Paso, Texas) is right at 900 miles. Same thing for south to north (Brownsville to the Oklahoma line above Amarillo) - just a tad under 900 miles. From where I live just northeast of Houston, it's takes me about 12 hours to drive to Atlanta, Georgia and about 11.5 hours to drive to El Paso.

wack
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:10 am

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby wack » Mon May 04, 2009 4:03 am

Zim, thank you for your input. The rifles mentioned, I think we agree upon but I wonder why you say ditch the see through scope mounts? What is an XS Ghost ring? I've used see through scope mounts before, on run-a-way pig and was sure glade I had more than just a scope to find the mark fast at 6 yards. Any other non dangerous game, I put the scope a close to the gun barrel as possible. I use a 30-06 Single shot rifle, I recommended the 30-30 for the lower recoil and the fun of a lever action. He's a beginner that should probably have more than a 40s&w. He's a great guy, in his 30's, an electrical engineer, not married, likes camping and fishing, I'm trying to get him interested in hog hunting so he can take me when we come down.

 Hand guns. 40 s&w is the cal. my B-I-L chose for self deffence, it's his only gun. I'll pass on to him the opinion that it is a bit anemic for pigs. I've already mentioned to him that a semi auto better fire every time, throwing a jammed gun at a pig isn't going to do much. 9-15 Rounds in a few seconds, I told him that it was the smallest I'd take. My side arm for bears and wolves up here is a Ruger NM Super Black Hawk Hunter 44 mag. and my step father makes my ammo for it. 1 round should do it, but it's nice to have 6.

 It's funny to hear about 1000 acre small ranch when a 400 acre farm is considered huge here. My grandpa had a 100 acre farm here, you don't need to tell me about the dangers of hogs and have had more than one 500+ pound p'd off pig encounter. There was always a loaded 12 ga and a .22 in the barn.  I guess that was my 1st hunting experiences, tracking down his run-a-ways. We didn't screw around, if one got out of the electric fence, we killed it because they're smart. If they get out once, they'll do it again. You'd be surprised at how many 500+# pigs dropped in there tracks to a .22lr. It was one my brother shot with a .22lr that the see through scope mounts saved my butt with at 6 yards. Good thing grandpa told us "this is a mean one, take the fancy gun and stick together." Now that I think about it, grandpa was nuts sending 10 and 12 year old boys out with a .22 and 30-30 to go get a run-a-way hog, but that was then, that was farming. lol

 Thanks for the links, I'll check them out. Thick brush and timber. Would a tree climber be worth bringing? What is the best solution for snake boots? Poisonous snakes are as rare as bigfoot up here and so are gators. Is there a gator season down there? Wife also wants to go fishing on the ocean. She's never seen one, and I've never seen the Gulf. B-I-L better watch out, when we get down there, we may never leave. lol
American by birth, hunter by choice.

Zim
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 6:40 pm

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby Zim » Mon May 04, 2009 7:56 pm

Ditch the see-throughs because they make you change your hold, which can make for inconsistent shooting.  Worse yet, to look through the scope, you have to raise your face up off the cheek piece.  The cheek piece helps to hold your head steady while you aim.  On a see-through, your head is not braced and it is much easier to get parallax, especially if you are using a low- to mid-priced scope.  If you want to be able to see up close, get a variable that will go down to 2.5X and use a regular mounting system.

The XS ghost ring is similar to a peep sight, but with a much larger aperture.  Large enough, in fact, that you can fairly easily lead your target and still keep the thoracic cavity within the aperture.

The only difference between my Marlin and the one pictured here is that mine is a full-sized 1895, not the guide gun.  The sight in this picture is the same as mine.  They're not cheap, but they're pretty easy to install.  About the only complaint (which is the same complaint for installation of any rear sight) I have is that they aren't the easiest to sight in.  There are left- and right-windage screws, which makes it kind of tricky to get on the center line of the gun.  After that, it's straight-forward.  But, that's better than having to use a drift pin and brass hammer to get on the center line, like lots of other aperture systems.

Snakes can be a problem, especially around here.  I am a nurse now, and we probably get two or three snake bite victims in the ER a week in our little community/rural 51 bed hospital.  The worst are the cane brake rattlers (AKA timber rattlers), but we have cotton mouths and copperheads aplenty.  Most of our snakebites are copperheads.  Other than some pain and swelling and a possible secondary infection from a puncture wound, they aren't too bad.  Cane brakes and cotton mouths can get big, and envenomations by them can lead to extensive soft tissue injury.  This time of year, you'd be smart to wear greaves/shin guards of some sort.  You'll also see the occasional coral snake.  Their venom is horribly toxic, but bites are rare, and envenomations are rarer still.  They're elapids (as opposed to vipers), meaning they have fixed fangs, and their fangs are kind of far back in their mouth.  As a frame of reference, cobras, kraits, and mambas are elapids also.

You can hunt pigs from a tree stand, but it is more fun from the ground.  If you want meat, just throw out a bunch of sour mash (dump some corn into a bucket of water and let it sit out in the sun a few days) within 40 or 50 yards of where your stand will be.  It may take them 2 or 3 days to show up, but they will if there are any in the area.  Then, just take your pick of what you want to harvest.  Since they're not game animals, there are no restrictions on baiting them, either.  IF you want a wall-hanger, you'll need to get out on the ground.  Not always an easy thing with the kind of vegetation we have around here.

Ticks can be a problem, but usually where there are fire ants, you don't see very many ticks.  Ticks are a much bigger problem in the Hill Country and West Texas than around here (too dry out there for fire ants), though we do have them.  Red bugs (chiggers) can be absolutely HELLATIOUS when it's warm out, and I probably don't need to tell you much about the mosquitoes.  A hog has an insanely sensitive nose, so repellant use is a coin toss.  I wear it, but mostly for the red bugs.  Mosquitoes are an annoyance, but getting covered in red bugs is a week of total misery.  The worst thing about red bugs is you won't know you've picked any up until a day or two later.

There are loads of offshore outfits located in Galveston.  I've been out on the TexSun II a few times.  Good captain, good crew.  You can book 4, 8, and 12 hour trips.  If you don't have sea legs, take some dramamine, scopolomine, or benadryl an hour or two before you go out.  The 4 hour (1 hour out, 2 hours of fishing, and 1 hr back) trips go for as little as about $35 or $40, and the 12-hour (4 out, 4 fishing, and 4 back) is something like $80-$100 if you go during the week.  They supply the tackle and the bait (usually chopped squid, though you can buy sardines or shad if you like).  If you're skittish about not being able to see land, avoid the 12 hour trip, at least at first.  You'll be about 50 or 60 miles off shore.

Never hunted for gators, so I can't tell you anything about it.  There is a gator farm in Anahuac (about an hour east of Houston on I-10).  They do airboat rides and stuff like that, too.  Check the TPWD web site to get info on gators.

wack
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:10 am

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby wack » Tue May 05, 2009 3:31 am

Zim, Thanks again for the information. I should have written down what I thought you were going to say about ditching the see through scope mounts, because I had the exact same conversation with my B-I-L. Like almost everything in life, there are always trade offs. Another trade off you didn't mention but I mentioned in an earlier post is the scope is better off closer to the barrel, closer in line with the bullet path. This also makes it more difficult to sight in and once you do sight it in, changing ammo can make big differences in long range (100-250) impacts. My Marlin set up was 0 @100 yards, and 0@250 and 2" high at 175 yards.

 The scope I recomended isn't a cheap one. Bushnel Elite, 3-9x40 or 50mm. Parralax is not a problem with this scope. I never had a problem with see through scope mounts as far as holding my gun and head consistantly. Using the iron sights was more uncomfortable, often a conflict between my hand/thumb recoil against my nose, but that would happen using iron sights with out a scope above. He may choose a ghost ring for under the scope. I laid out all the options, including the peep sight for him. For me, I'm not building anything new. I would like to take one with my bow, most likely pack th .44 and .22 hand guns, my slug gun and 30-06. Ground blinds, tree climber, Thermocell, bug suit, snake bit kit,  shin gaurds, look up chiggers and fire ants, (mosquito's and tics we have) corn mash, check, great info, thanks.

 The TexSun II looks perfect. I lived in SE Fla for a couple years in the late 80's, did some drift boat fishing for king fish, red snapper, and grouper. Banita on a bad day, 4 hour trip, $15 each, poles, and bait included. As regulars they let us exceed the beer limits, and sell enough beer on board to pay our tickets for the next 4 hours. lol The more beer we sold, the more pukers on the other side of the boat, the more room to fish. If they were not fishing, they weren't catching fish, better chances for us to win the big catch of the day money that we passed the hat around for every trip before leaving port. My roommate and I did this every Sunday. Not sure if the Queen Bee III is still in Lantana Fla. or not, I'd bet it's more than $15 per trip now. lol

 Thanks again, if you are ever heading to Wisconsin and have questions, just ask.
 
American by birth, hunter by choice.

Zim
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 6:40 pm

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby Zim » Tue May 05, 2009 8:46 am

I'd also forget about the snakebite kit, too.  Get to an ER, even if it takes several hours.  You've a much greater risk for permanently injuring yourself with a scalpel/razor than from what snake venom may do.  If you are bitten by a copperhead or cotton mouth, there isn't much to be done but wait it out anyway.  If you are bitten by a rattler, they'll give you an antivenin called CroFab (derived from the venom of Crotalidae - the rattler genus).  I've seen it given for copperheads and cotton mouth bites, but clinical evidence of its benefit is iffy at best.  At about $5k per dose, that's an expensive do-nothing.

wack
 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:10 am

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby wack » Tue May 05, 2009 4:39 pm

I should have said snake kit. Sig Sauer Mosquito .22 ,a plastic bag, knife and GPS cell phone. lol If I get bit, I ain't dieing alone. I was bitten by a black widow spider in Fla. and if I had not killed the spider for the paramedics to ID I wouldn't be here.

 What else can you shoot without a license? Coyote? Armadillo? The wife is excited about the fishing, I told her brother and he's going to check that out for sure. In Fla we didn't need a fishing license for off shore ocean, that was years ago, any requirements for Texas?
American by birth, hunter by choice.

Zim
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 6:40 pm

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby Zim » Sat May 09, 2009 9:04 am

You will need a license, but you can buy one-day non-resident.  The non-resident all water fishing 1 day permit is $15.  You don't need any additional endorsements with this license.

RonK57
 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:29 am

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby RonK57 » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:38 am

I was reading ya'lls posts and thought I'd chime in: there is no need for a fishing license if you are fishing in federal waters off Texas, so as long as you go out past state waters you are ok(so a 50 mile trip would be in fed water)

azarcher
 
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:59 pm

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby azarcher » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:23 pm

I am in Tucson, AZ.  I read your responses to "Wack" about hunting hogs.  You say one could go to Lohn, TX.
I am sure interested in that prospect.  I would pull my 23 ft RV trailer and stay awhile.  I am self contained and would simply need a spot to park.   I am an archery hunter and I could use my .243.  Is that where you live?  I have not been able to find someplace where folks just want to get rid of hogs enough to not make it a commercial enterprise.

Please send me an email.  If I receive a favorable response I will pass on my cell number to you.  Incidentally, I was born and raised on a farm in the Great Bend-Ellinwood area of Kansas.

Thanks.

RonK57
 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:29 am

RE: Southern Texas Hog hunting

Postby RonK57 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:54 am

With regards to your interest in hog hunting in Texas; I do not know of any land available to hunt for free owned by someone other than the state with a hog problem big enough to NOT CHARGE. There are many people complaining to hogs are tearing up their place and need help getting rid of as many as they can---for a price! The different areas with public hunting around state do have hog damage and because of it and the "open season" on hogs(year round hunting) encourage people to shoot as many as they can or want. The problem with that is, generally you will NOT see any to shoot. There are hogs tearing up yards in almost every suburb around Houston and it is a problem that the state insists on using professional hunters(if any hunting is allowed at all) using bows to try and limit the destruction; no everyday "joe's" are allowed to take a shot!
I really believe this attitude of the state is to keep down the non-hunter/killer groups from protesting and causing a big stink the state wants to avoid. I also know of places around the Huntsville area(75mile north of Houston) that trap and or kill all they can; and still make a dent in the pop. of the hogs; but if you try to help them out with this problem they either will refuse you the access or charge for it. There are several pay to hunt locations, and they do have plenty of the beasts to hunt, and alot have no limit, but most work a one time charge to hunt and allow 2-3 animals per person. I have read of one ranch that has one guided hunt for day time and one guided night hunt; and the package includes 3 day/3 night hunts for the fee, and I believe that includes processing at an extra charge as well as tipping guides as a suggestion! While I am interested in this spot I can not bring myself to pay to kill a wild hog when I can buy a 230lb. domestic pig at a auction/feed lot or even cheaper at a hog farm. I must admit to be interested in the night hunting of a wild hog; as they claim it to be a real thrill, and have many hunters that try it decide not attend the next 2 nights, out of the need to save one's(their) own behind!! When you are jumping a 200-400lb porker with an attitude problem in the dark at CLOSE range in tall vegetation or thick brush; your heart must be pounding(must be a big rush of adenelin). I have two hip replacements and high blood pressure as well(I don't run anywhere fast enough to get out of the way of a hog charging me from 10 yards out of the brush) so I'm not sure it would be a good idea for me to try the hunt. I wish you well on your quest but in all reality you will most likely have to pay to hunt hogs.

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